Whispers in a Library – In honor of Halloween’s Horror Time

Just thought everyone could do with a bit of scary fun!  Beware Librarians.

Whispers floated from the back of the building, the soft words emanating from the office of old Ms. Pemberton.  Clare squinted at the closed
door.  Shaking her head, she flipped the lights back on in the main room of the small town library and briskly walked down the corridor.

Kids, she thought to herself, can’t let an old woman’s things alone.  This was the third time this week she had to get them out of the Librarian’s office.  Teenagers goofing around, thinking that it would be fun being locked in the library all night.  Little did they know, she laughed quietly. Taking the keys from her purse, she slipped the metal into the lock and turned the knob.

“What are you two doing in here?” she demanded as she stepped into the office and turned the light on.

Tommy Totherow and Frances Ledford both looked up in surprised.  “Ms. Ridgely…is it closing time?”  Frances stuttered her eyes wide like a doe.

“You both know it is.  It’s almost midnight. Why are you hiding back here?”

“We were just trying to find out if it’s true,” Tommy stated gallantly.

“Find out what?”  Clare lowered her head and raised her eyebrows.

“If the ghost of Ms. Pemberton actually haunts this place,” he finished.

Clare regarded the two in contemplation.  Ever since the body was discovered in the office one morning, rumors flew around the small Georgia town about her ghost haunting the library.

Smiling to herself, Clare motioned for the teenagers to get out of the office.  “There are no such things as ghosts.  Come on you two, it’s time to go.  I’m sure your parents are wondering where you are.”

As she escorted the young people out of the library, Clare realized she forgot to lock the office door.  Waving farewell to Tommy and Frances, she quickly secured the main entry before anything could escape.  Walking back to the Librarian’s office, she noticed the air had begun to chill, her breath hung briefly as she grew closer to the end of the corridor.

She really needed to be more careful, she thought to herself, or they would get out and then everyone would know.  Nearing the door, she saw a pale wisp forming at the threshold.  Smiling, she looked at the ghost of her reflection, the eyes wide in terror.

“Thank you dear for giving up your body.  This is just what an old woman needed, a fresh new start in this century.  Have fun with the others, nothing above a whisper though, ya hear?”

 

Digging out a little bit of Horror from the Writing Closet – “A Spider’s Web”

Recently I was browsing through some old stories I wrote, and came across this little piece of Horror.  I am putting together a collection Horror shorts, which I’ve written over the years, all of them pertaining to different characters of Hiawassee, here in the great North Georgia Mountains (fictitious of course).  The Book is called “Dead Lady Bugs.”  One of the stories contained in it won a literary award from the college I attend here in Young Harris.  So Enjoy, let me know your thoughts, suggestions, etc.

A SPIDER’S WEB:

Hiding him had been difficult, knowing he was so close.  It tortured my soul, biting like that of spider, irritating like a puss filled sore, pushing me further, tipping me downward, until I could not come up from the stickiness of my hatred.   Obsession has a funny way of creeping through one’s mind, twisting and turning like a spider creating a web, tangling even the sanest of people within the silk cords of revenge.  He still haunted me even after several years, my mind holding onto the memory of his betrayal, tightly weaving a psychotic need to make him bleed.

Luring him was easy.  His ego was his downfall.  I conjured up some event, and called him to
leave a message from a pay phone down where he lived.  I really do not remember what I said, but the excuse worked and he headed up to the mountains early the next day.  I followed until he stopped for gas.  The sight of him kissing her still replayed itself like a bad movie in my head, and I needed to make sure the gun was loaded before he got there.  I liked holding the weapon, it made me feel powerful.

When he finally pulled into the state park, he got out of his car with a smug look on his face.  It
was hideous the way he smiled.  I did not like the way his eyes lingered over my body.
I could hear his thoughts, as he must be congratulating himself that I had come back for more.

“Hey baby,” he said causally, the Italian cockiness evident in his arched brow. “Been awhile.”

“Yes, it has,” I replied coolly.

I fingered the gun in my pocket, intent on keeping my smile plastered on my face, and enticed him with cleavage, hoping the memory my breast held for him, would draw him closer.  He stood in front of me, his presence a sick, intoxicating thrill.  I fought with the demon inside of me, for I
did not want to love him anymore, and made it go away, only to replace it with the angel of unholy release.

“Couldn’t do without Joey could you?” he asked with a laugh.

“Yes, the spider said to the fly,” I whispered, as I felt myself leave. My smile faded, as I felt the coldness of the weapon, its steel melting with the flesh of my hand and my thoughts cleared, allowing only the emotion of anger to surface.

“Who is the spider and who is the fly?” he giggled as he pulled open my coat and tweaked a protruding nipple rather harshly.

I glanced at the spider web tattoo upon his hand, and realized I had died many times beneath it.
The flash of the weapon was quick, the sound echoing within the dead limbs of the trees which surrounded us. He sank to his knees, a praying zealot, who now bowed at my feet.  The calm which enclosed itself around me was peaceful.

“You didn’t…” he gurgled.

“Yes, but I did.”

After gathering his things, I stripped him and shoved his naked form into the trunk of my car.  I
chuckled as I laid the weapon on the front seat of his car.  How poetic that I used his own gun.  Perhaps he should not have been in such a hurry to leave me, I thought with malice, as I faced his corpse.  His mouth hung open in a frozen scream, and I bent to kiss it, if only for one last time.
Breathing in his scent, I remembered it, for soon the flesh of his shell would turn to putrid waste, and nothing of his human existence would remain.

“You forgot a few things,” I muttered to the blank expression in his eyes.  “Never trust a black widow bent on destruction.  You should have known that, Mr. Spiderman.”

Once home I waited until about two in morning before I retrieved his stiff carcass.  I wrapped
and wrapped, until the little insect was in a nice shower liner cocoon.  Placing him under the back porch in the crawl space, my body felt conflicted after I left him there.  I wanted to run and hold him, yet at the same time, I despised him, and wanted to chop him into tiny little pieces.  Would it matter, if I slept with him one more time, a bitter date of reminiscing?

I think it was about two weeks later that I noticed on the news report a bit about his sudden disappearance. There was a brief shot of HER, with black tears, and a sloppy bleach blond do it yourself hairdo, before they cut to his car, and police tape.  I think I remember the reporter suggesting suicide, but all I could concentrate on was the feeling of satisfaction, that my web was still intact.  It took another month before they knocked at my door.

“Ms…?” the young detective hesitated as he fumbled open his notebook.

“Black, Lucy Black,” I stated with a smile.

I extended a plaster covered hand.  “Oh, excuse me,” I laughed quickly.  “I’ve been working on an art project.”

Wiping the gooey white mess off with a rag, I opened the door wider, inviting him further into my studio.

“Thank you,” he replied stepping into the torrent of paints and other artistic paraphernalia.

“You must be Detective Henderson.”

“Yes, I’m glad you got my message.  I just wanted a moment of your time.”

“Sure. Why don’t we go up to my parlor?”

Detective Henderson walked around the maze of tables and stopped at my sculpture by the bay window.

“Is that a real skeleton?” he asked with a raised brow.

Laughing I moved over to the work.  “Yes, I purchased it from the science department at the local college.  Would you like to see the receipt?  I promise I’m not a grave robber.”

“No, that’s okay.  Just find this very interesting. I was somewhat artistic in school, but not sculpture.”

He poked at the skull protruding under the many layers of plaster and paper.

“I like the spider,” he commented as he pointed to another table.

I caressed the paper mache Black Widow, my eyes delighting in its shape and color.

“I have an art show coming up. This will be my center piece.  It’s a tribute to the spider.  She gets judged for only doing what comes naturally.”

“A natural born killer!”

“What?”

“She’s a natural born killer.  Death to whoever her mate may be,” Detective Henderson said gesturing to the spider.

“Oh, yes,” I sighed slightly.

“We don’t need to go upstairs Ms. Black.  As I said in my message this is just a
routine visit concerning an old boyfriend of yours, Joey Pagano.”

“What about Joey?”

“Are you aware he’s missing?”

“I think I’ve seen something on the news about it.  It’s been over two years since we parted
ways.”

“Did he leave on good terms?”

“Separating is never good, but if you are asking if it was violent, no.”

“I saw that there was a record of domestic disturbance in your past.”

I sat down on a stool and crossed my arms against my heart.  Looking at the sculpture in front
of me, I remembered the spider web tattoo on Joey’s hand.

“Detective Henderson, Joey wasn’t a very nice person.  He left one day when I wasn’t home.  Packed his bags and moved back down to Atlanta to be with a woman who he claimed was an ex-girlfriend, and then married her.  I didn’t know until later that he’d been living a double life.
He was engaged to both of us.  He broke my heart, but I was glad he was gone, he was very harsh and cared for nothing but material things…and himself.”

Detective Henderson scribbled something down into his little notebook.  Flipping it shut, he put both the pen and notebook in his front pocket.

“Have you seen him since that time?”

“No,” I replied shaking my head.  “Don’t care to.”

He stood quiet for a moment, contemplating the spider sculpture.  “Well we have to investigate
every avenue,” he finally commented, putting his hands in his pockets.

“I understand completely.”

Holding the door open, I watched him as he walked out.  My thoughts briefly danced to the
cold forest floor, where Joey’s blood mingled with nature.  One day I would visit there again, just to
light a candle.

“Good luck with the show,” he offered politely, turning back. “When will it be held?”

“March 25th, the Simpson Art Gallery on Peachtree Street near Buckhead inAtlanta.”

“Well I’ll make a note to attend.”  He raised his hand in a small salute.

I watched the car drive away and the tail lights fade.  Glancing at the sky I noted the brilliant reds within the clouds.

“Better finish before I lose light,” I said to nothing.

Picking up the bucket of plaster, I hurried down the basement stairs.  Clicking on the single
bulb, I stirred the bucket with a stick.  I laughed lightly.  Squinting in the dimness, I brushed at the cobwebs above my head.  Soon, this would be finished, this web of deceit I spun with Joey’s death.   He would be bound to me forever, and SHE would have nothing.  I glanced at the plaster in my hand, as I smeared it into the cracks, filling several voids. The new wall looked nice, I surmised smugly.  There was only one more place to fill, and then the spider web tattoo would do no more damage.